Get set, BAKE! To celebrate the return of the nations’ favourite programme (affectionately dubbed by us) we’ve put together a guide for the essentials that you’ll need to get baking. We can’t wait for the Channel 4 reboot – after all – we wouldn’t have wanted it to get stale… pardon the pun. And we believe the only way to stave off the pangs of junger (jealous hunger) brought on by The Great British Bake Off is to get baking something wonderful to eat whilst watching the show. Now that, that’s science.
Get Baking with these 10 Essentials:
The Measuring Scales
Decidedly less daunting than their mean cousin the weighing scales, measuring scales are the foundation for any good bake. Even the most veteran baker will still rely on measuring scales to get ingredient ratios perfect – it’s simply impossible to get baking without a set!
The set pictured above is available from Cox & Cox and is offering up some serious contemporary vintage vibes with its numeral face and detachable metal bowl; fortunately, it’s sporting the very useful add-and-weigh dial under the bowl.
A Measuring Jug
Of equal importance to the measuring scales, a measuring jug is a basic tool among a baker’s range of equipment. Necessary for measuring all liquid and in some cases will be able to measure American “cups” for solid ingredients too.
The one above from House of Fraser has a handy smaller section that can measure smaller liquids, such as salad dressings, and starts from as small as 5ml.
Tip: Ensure to invest in a microwave-safe measuring jug to soften or melt butter.
Buying a set will not only mean a uniform style (all those perfectionists are jumping for joy at the thought) but it often makes they’ll stack neatly together for easy storage.
Do you want a lumpy batter? Or bumpy cake mixture? Do you want evenly dusted cake tops and crepes? Of course, you do, you’re not a neanderthal; no one wants a lumpy batter. That’s where the humble sieve comes striding in. It’ll be one of the most inexpensive tools in your kit but will make the difference between an okay consistency and a silky smooth (i.e., GREAT) consistency.
An Electric Whisk
Your elbows will thank you, your wrists will thank you, your clock will thank you; the consistency of your unbaked goods will thank you. In other words, an electric whisk will save you insurmountable time and effort.
The standalone whisk above is from the iconic homeware brand Morphy Richards and boasts a 3.5-litre capacity and 6-speed settings (i.e. it’s a good choice guys).
At the end of the day, as a novice baker you’ll be starting with cakes – and to be honest – we’re all here for a good cake, right? We’d recommend getting two cake tins as you’re likely to always need multiple layers (did someone say Victoria sponge?). And on the off chance that you don’t eat the whole cake every time you bake, then you’ll need somewhere to store it.
Purchasing two cake tins means they’ll not only be identical in size and shape, but it will also allow you to bake both layers at the same time; this means exact layers and a quicker bake time.
For a cleaner kitchen when baking, parchment is fundamental!
A pastry brush, again, is a tool that doesn’t immediately spring to mind when one thinks about essential baking tools. However, this little addition to your baking toolkit will prove indispensable. From butter glazing to egg washing and even grease proofing cake tin sides, you’ll find yourself using a pastry brush time and time again (and often saving your fingers from the messiest jobs); trust me, I’m talking from experience here.
The Cooling Rack
It is probably one of the most underrated baking essentials, often discarded as an unnecessary extra. However, when you get baking, you’ll soon realise a cooling rack will get used every time. I bet you won’t catch Mary Berry cooling her cookies on a naked work surface. Blasphemy.
And that’s it, your get baking quick toolkit. Realistically, when it comes to kitchen appliances there is a never-ending list, but these 10 essentials will get you off the ground and then hopefully next year you’ll be part of the televised team that’s terrified of soggy bottoms.